Across Continents

Ken's Blog

First world visas

July 28th, 2010

It’d seemed prudent to look a little ahead, check the entry requirements for the Antipodean nations, and North America. First World. Didn’t think they’d be any issues. And, ordinarily, there wouldn’t be. And, with a bit of planning, there shouldn’t be. But it does reaffirm the need not to assume. And make sure you understand the often subtle distinction between having a visa, or a waiver in most cases, and actually satisfying the Immigration Officer on arrival that you’re not an economic migrant with aspirations to over-stay.

New Zealand’s fine, no visa required, just need to make sure I arrive with tickets for onward travel, and have evidence to show I am able to support myself whilst there. Similar story for Australia, but my online application for a six month visa faltered a bit when required to list countries I’d visited, and there’s a limit of ten. So – if you’re counting – got stuck at the Azerbaijan border.

I thought Canada a bit like New Zealand, with the addition of needing to show ties with the UK. Better find my driving licence. And have to show I’ll leave at the end of my visit. Hopeful a passport full of used visas will be convincing.

I’ve been to the US quite a few times on their Visa Waiver Programme, but that limits me to three months for all of North America, which isn’t enough, and I’d need to show a ticket for onward travel. Which I won’t have. Not until deepest South America. So proper visa required. And whilst all the rules and regulations, the application forms, are rather more extensive than those for Central Asia, shades of the UK’s own onerous requirements, they are at least very explicit about it. Which I like.

Might be making a few Consular calls in Hong Kong. Making sure I get a decent haircut first.


Small world

May 13th, 2010

Had to be them. I’d stopped for water at the top of a long climb into an unrelenting headwind. Two heavily laden motorbikes, Canadian flag stickers on the rear, had gone past. Stopped suddenly a few hundred metres down the road. Mike and Ruby, the serious tourers I’d met back in the Georgian town of Sighnakhi.

Quickly back in the saddle, I sprinted down to catch up with them. Yes. We chatted for a while. Agreed the traffic markedly better than in Georgia. But then back on the road, seventy or so kilometres to the Capital Baku. Wondered if we might bump into each other again at the port, searching for our respective ships across the Caspian. Small world.

Terms & Conditions of Use | Copyright © 2009-2023 Ken Roberts